View Full Version : Do you have relatives who are "too old" for Christmas
12-27-2008, 05:13 PM
I had some shocking realizations this year that perhaps shouldn't be shocking but here it is. I stopped in to visit my grandmother who still lives alone & she was telling me how she wasn't going to put up a tree. In fact she seemed quite surprised that I still put up a full tree. (seeing as I have no kids & share Christmas only with my father and sister)
But that's not it, my Aunt & Uncle have stopped putting a tree up as well. They went to a fancy hotel for dinner instead of making a turkey for the 2nd year in a row. They still give us gifts which we don't need but they insist on despite the fact they don't give gifts to themself.
I have so many fond memories of visiting relatives at Christmas that it makes me quite sad to think people could reach a point where Christmas is too much of a hassle. I'm not sure I could even survive a Christmas with no tree or decorations, it would crush the will to live in me.
So is this becoming all too common? Is Christmas falling out of fashion, too much work? Given the choice between a huge pile of presents or just the other trappings of Christmas I'd give up all the presents for my tree, my lights & other decorations. I hope I NEVER reach an age when Christmas is too much work, that would be a very sad day indeed. (and I'm not criticizing people with health issues either it's not their fault if they aren't physically able, I refer only to people who just think it's too much work)
Ok, sorry for rambling, I just love Christmas that much.
12-27-2008, 06:19 PM
I feel the same way you do, but I do think as you get older, you just get tired and slow down. I know I almost did not put a tree up this year, but was going to put all my garlands and other things up. It is just getting to be so much and with all the cooking too. But I am glad I put it up. It is taking everything down that is a pain, because you put it up gradually, but in order to pack conveniently, it almost all has to come down at the same time.
I remember when I was younger and my grandmother was alive. I was shocked like you are. And she said, honey when you get older, you just get so tired and wore out. She was in her 80's then.
I know if I didn't put the tree up, I would regret it by Christmas eve.
12-27-2008, 07:05 PM
I see how it's a hassle if you're older or alone. I would always help put up trees, but I was awful and didn't help take them down, which would have been appreciated even more, I'm sure.
My maternal grandmother was 79 when she got sick. She always had a big tree before then and I would put it up and put lights on it. She would put on the ornaments. She was a big kid at Christmas and loved to snoop under the tree to see which gifts were hers! After she got sick (dementia) she didn't know Christmas Day from any other day and that was so sad. Her caregiver always put up a small tree for her anyway.
Some years I don't get up a "big" tree, but even the year our house was for sale, I put up a 2 foot tree on the dining room table!
12-27-2008, 08:26 PM
Yeah Paul...It is sad that old age takes over and these folks don't have the energy to do it anymore. I met a lady today who I serviced at the spa. She must have been in late 70's to early 80's. She told me she didn't decorate or put up a tree this Christmas. She told me she has lymphomia and about to be treated with chemo in Jan. Her daughter came into town to spend Christmas with her and insisted on both of them to have a complete spa treatment with massage, facial, pedicures and manicures. This was a wonderful lady. She was smiling and very bubbley...but no energy to set up a tree she told me. I remember when my mom was this way. I made my mom a pre-lit ceramic Christmas tree. At Christmas-time, all she needed to do was set the tree on a table, plug it in and this was wonderful for her. I told my client about this with my Mom...She could definitely relate. Remember, these elderly relatives have spent Christmases for many years with family with all the decorating. However, when your health begins to fail and energy also, they just hang on to those wonderful memories of Christmas years. My wonderful Client was as happy as a lark to be able to have her daughter visiting and enjoying the time with her. I believe her daughter came into town to be with her Mom because it may be their last Christmas together.
12-27-2008, 08:34 PM
Oh Twinkle, so sad about your client , but how nice the spa treatment was for her! I know my younger sister suffered with cancer and chemo and she loved having a spa treatment and things. She also was a Christmas fanatic too. She even took her regular pictures down and replaced with Christmas things.
12-27-2008, 09:17 PM
I love my lights and my tree. But this year it was only one tree. I have just had a hard time getting all the lights up and I insisted on doing it by myself. After four years of having to rely on others to help get it done and two of those years me not doing any of it at all I decided I wanted to do it alone. I have figured out that my brain says I can but my body says no way. So If I have to do it alone next year there will be no lights. There is just no way my body can keep up with it all. I will however have a tree up. One day I may not be able to do even that and I would hope and pray my kids or grandkids would come and do it for me. At that point I would care less if it ever came back down. I am blessed because I know everyone will offer to help put up the lights next year again so I won't go without my lights either. I think my neighbors would put them up if I would let them. I agree it is sad that they can't even put up a tree but maybe if you offer to put up your grandma's and come back and take it down she would let you. It might just be too much work for her. I know my friends think I can do way more than I can. Our body's get weaker the older we get. You will understand when you reach your 60's. It seems like every year it is harder and harder to do the things you want to do.:75:
12-28-2008, 04:42 AM
my nan didnt put up a tree this year as she felt poorly but she always spends christmas with us here for a few days so she stillhad christmas
12-28-2008, 05:00 AM
its sad how time changes
up until about 6 years ago my mum always put up a 6ft tree
infact the christmas before i left to live in the isle of man , we bought a new one , and between the tree and decorations it cost nearly £1000
the decorations are all pink n gold , but victorian theme
my mum hasnt been well for some time now , she will eventually end up in a wheelchair , and now all she puts up is a little 2ft tree
i keep asking if i can have the decorations that we bought and i always get the same answer - no
12-28-2008, 09:19 AM
My mom is in poor health so this year she didn't put up as many decorations as she usually does at Christmas time, but we did get over there & I put up her tree for her & did do some decorating for her.
12-28-2008, 10:16 AM
l also think its sad, but l do understand, for elderly people its not quite the same, if my Mum never helped my Nan then she wouldnt have any decos up.
12-28-2008, 01:50 PM
Even though my grandmother is 88 and had just lost her husband she still decorated some this year. It has been years since she put up a big tree but she still had a few of her smaller ones out and had hung up our stockings and set knick knacks around.
I can see where age would slow folks down, its just too hard on them to put stuff up. I know one day my folks will be like that and if they want I will gladly go over and put up a tree for them. But I dont see that happening anytime soon as my mom put up two large trees this year!
12-28-2008, 02:09 PM
I didn't put up a tree here at home this year, it got too late and I'm not happy with my artificial tree or where we have to place it because of our feral cat (whom we love dearly). I put a tree up at work to admire and there were a few others there too and I knew we would be going away for Christmas and there would be a tree waiting for us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
This is the first and last year without a tree for me. For me, the tree is like the centerpiece of Christmas. I just have to keep an eye out for a better one so I can take pleasure in it. I want a tree that looks like the kind of real trees we used to fetch with our dad when my brothers and I were little. The branches of artificial trees don't display the decorations the way real trees do. Maybe Bronner's has something for me. I'll have to check it out.
I do have other decorations up though and they have given me the same feel as the tree did last year maybe more because it was last year that I seemed to race to take the tree down because I wasn't happy with it as in previous years.
As for older relatives though, yes I've noticed some of mine doing less decorating as they used to unless they had help. My God Father died recently and they didn't get a chance to put the tree up before his condition worsened, yet they still had decorations here and there and the lights were on the house and the tree outside.
When I was younger all my Great Aunt's and Uncles decorated every year regardless of their health. I understand you're talking about people who just seem to be tired of decorating. Maybe if they don't have visitors, they don't feel the need. Personally, I hope I never grow tired of it. It's always been a special time of year, but without jazzing up the environment with a festive flair I'm not so sure it would feel like Christmas.
12-28-2008, 03:43 PM
My Mom, while only 64, has really slowed down in decorating the last few years. It seems to get later and later, in spite of having my 12 year old niece and 14 year old nephew living with them. I would help her, more, but with my arthritis and Lupus pain, it's all I can do to decorate this house. Mom was always a decorating maniac, if you look at my photo album, Mom used to cover the lamp shades with aluminum foil to make things look more festive! Mom's health isn't good, either and we both are insulin dependent diabetics and have problems with our levels, but it does bother me that she seems less inclined to decorate. My Grandma hasn't put a tree up in several years, although she does have one of those large, ceramic-lighted trees that she puts out and has a few other decorations out.
12-29-2008, 01:12 AM
My grandmother is the same way. Its sad but I totally understand her situation.
Im lucky to say shes 94 years old! She lost my grandfather last year, and couldnt remember what we got her this year, but at least she has my aunt, uncle and cousins around here which is the real reason for the season. Seems like family is all she needs around the Christmas time. But I did send her a Hallmark ornament a few years back that she always puts out.
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